You have made the decision to move forward and convert your paper records to fully customizable Electronic Health Records (EHRs). What next? Choosing an EHR can be a little like walking into a coffee shop with the expectation of ordering black coffee. Not only do they have black coffee, they ask which roast, size, and flavor you would like. Would you like sugar, raw sugar, honey, artificial sweetener? Then in addition to all of the coffee questions you realize there is a mammoth blackboard on the wall behind the shop’s barista with an endless variety of espresso drinks! Not that the coffee situation is a new or traumatic situation anyone of us coffee lovers find ourselves in, but to draw a comparison to EHR selection, one can see how overwhelming it can be to make a decision. All you thought you wanted was a cup of coffee!

Let’s consider why your practice needs an EHR. What components are you looking forward to in this type of software that will assist in you performing your job more efficiency and strengthen your practice’s coordination of care? I suggest considering the below three factors to direct you towards the solution best suited for your individual needs and preferences.

Defining Your Goals
Selecting an EHR system specifically designed for you is extremely important. Whether it be for a small family practice or large hospital, one of the most important aspects of your EHR is how it works for your practice specifically. Clinicians should also have a clear idea of what they want their documentation software to accomplish. It should offer electronic billing and coding, a patient portal, and be Web-based for security and cost savings. Practices should be able to import notes, obtain access via any web browser, and be compatible with tablet technology for portability.

Foster an Environment of Forward Thinkers
The Affordable Care Act mandates that all practices implement an EHR (or EMR) by 2014. It’s no longer a question of if, but when. Clinicians drag their feet, not because they like doing daily tasks over and over again as they waste time and continually feel bogged down by the shear volume of records to keep, but because change is difficult. Learning something new takes commitment of time and energy, initially.

People who work with other people and would not necessarily describe themselves as tech-savy, sell themselves short. As a former teacher, I loved learning the newest technological advances, but I always viewed technology as a whole as an abis of lofty ideas with mysterious black-hole pockets information could easily get lost in. Fear of the unknown is one of the biggest enemies of implementation. Instead of avoiding EHRs, realize the day is here to jump in. Foster an environment of learning, show staff you are all in this together and provide them time and opportunity to feel acclimated with all of the functions and benefits of your practice’s EHR. Transferring years of data would not be worth it if it wasn’t intended to deliver security and make your staff’s job a lot easier.

The ideal EHR integrates easily within the normal office workflow and already existing software systems for a total practice management system. Full integration with labs, other healthcare providers and pharmacies as well as insurance providers is the goal of your practice’s electronic documentation goal. Incorporating convenient means of communication that your practice already takes advantage of will provide a seamless transition as your new software program provides you easy access through phone, email, text and voice messaging.

Customization
Each practice has its own way of conducting business and clinicians should ensure their EHR allows for creating custom documents and templates. An tailor built EHR enhances a practice’s efficiency and productivity. It shouldn’t interfere in normal processes or require clinicians to change the way they operate their business. The transition for all involved should feel seamless.

IVR Technology Group‘s custom built EHRs provide hospitals and practices the tools and technology to meet the demands and challenges of the 21st century practice. Documentation software increases productivity, profitability and patient care. Fear of the unknown shouldn’t prevent clinicians from implementing an EHR that will add valuable new avenues for increasing revenues.

So, do you know how to go about selecting the right EHR for your practice now? Let us know!

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